Keep your Spark in the Dark

Many are guilty of it, including billionaire business magnates.

First let me speak from personal experience. I had a gal assist me with the housework a couple nights a week. I told her I was off sugar. I needed to lose weight. I asked her to videotape my impassioned declaration to the Universe that I was going to drop 50 lbs. 

She gobbled up my enthusiasm and imitated my passion for losing weight. She stopped eating sugar too. She took it a step further by exercising nightly, and turned to her mum for support. Needless to say, she went from frumpy to fabulous, and so did her mom!๐Ÿ˜ญ As for me,  I just maintained my weight, and she and her mum got skinny.

Something strange happens in human contact that propels some people to steal other people’s dreams, ideas, and desires, or else just get motivated by them.

Keep the big dreams under your hat and be careful.

As my acting coach always told me, don’t give your power away!

 

The Joy of Snacks

A snack can be anything from meal-like to minute

In America we live in a culture of snacks.

Snacks dominate our day.  We love to eat.

These days there is a trend toward a grab at healthier snacks. Perhaps at the back of our minds we think we will be skinnier if we eat healthier. This outcome may or may not happen, but we remain hopeful.

In olden days, people would eschew snacks for three square meals a day. You wouldn’t want to ruin your appetite, right?

Our appetite is stronger than ever. There are so many tempting snacks.

Even though we strive to eat healthier, the typical snacks are still as popular as ever. French fries, potato chips, chocolate bars, ice cream, donuts, tortilla chips and salsa, soft drinks and cupcakes.

More than 50% of Americans enjoy a cup of coffee everyday instead of tea. We are a nation of coffee drinkers and we like it that way.

Of course, we shouldn’t mention obesity. But the obvious truth is most of us adults are overweight or obese. It’s not like in the movies where most of the women and men are skinny and sexy.

No doubt about it, one of the glories of life, is the often ignored, albeit often indulged in, ubiquitous snacks.

If you plan to visit with a radio DJ or want to see a friend to practice guitar, bagels and cream cheese are always popular. Bring snacks and you’ll be well-loved.

What are some of your favorite snacks? 

Here are ten of mine.

1. Cookies. 

2. Tortilla chips and dip. 

3. Chocolate, preferably Belgian with hazelnuts.

4. Tangerines. 

5. Fresh fruit salad. 

6. Tea and muffins.

7. Coffee and donuts. 

8. Pistachio ice cream. 

9. Cheesecake with Italian cherry sauce. 

10. Black licorice such as that found in a big box of Good and Plenty.

Next time you look in the mirror at your body in your swimsuit, and you bemoan your excess adipose tissue, remember a lot of it was bought and paid for in snacks!

Fashion Feels and Real World Tears

What’s that on the shoulder of your Calvin Klein jacket Amy? It’s an unknown stain, and the weight of the world!

You may love to shop. You may feel good after you buy an item or two that you love! Just like a drug or a drink, there is a high after you buy.

Especially if you live in the Western world, you can’t escape fashion. It’s everywhere!

You look good, you feel good, right?

The words fast fashion have a negative connotation. It means you consume cheap trendy goods to dispose of them quickly because they donโ€™t last.

Why waste your money?

You may buy a top for $3 made in India or Vietnam or any other place, but the lack of durability and value is the basis of fast fashion. The low-cost is really a high price when you consider the lack of biodegradability of the fabric.

What was the provenance of the top you bought?

The origin of your new top may belie a horrible history in it’s creation, especially if it’s made by underpaid, uninsured workers.

Once you’ve used your purchase to your delight and have consumed it’s considered worth, what will happen to your used-up cast-off?

The top may perhaps be made of a fabric that lacks the ability to disintegrate into the earth, and will only wind up burned or buried under the ground. Fast fashion pollutes.

It’s excellent to look good. It’s excellent to shop thrift stores as well. It’s best if you look for good quality first, low price second.

Recycle your clothes, instead of throwing them into the landfill. Donate them to others. Let them be recycled or upcycled!

When you buy, consider avoiding acrylic and highly-flammable petrochemical-based fabrics, such as 100% polyester and go for biodegradable textiles such as wool, silk and cotton.

However, don’t always consider cotton to be the best, if it pollutes and drains earth’s natural resources, in order to ensure production.

Just like you find out where your food comes from, find out where your garb comes from.

Make sure that it’s not being made by exploited workers paid slave wages.

In order to keep everyone up to standard there has to be more transparency in the fashion industry.

If your favorite brand won’t tell you where your clothes originate from or what is in them, skip the brand and shop local.

There are companies in the world that will tell you where they harvest their textiles and how they make their products.

Find out how earth-friendly they are, and not only will you be better off, the whole world will benefit now and in the future.

Plus, you’ll be able to wear your fashion with confidence. Then like a good citizen of this planet you will really be in fashion!

How to make head space in a cluttered mind

So many things to think, do and worry about.

Feeling that less is best is different than living up to that belief.
My attempts at making space in my home by getting rid of clutter has been very difficult for me, but I continue the quest. 

I also want to create space in my mind. Lately I’ve been doing three different things in the morning to calm myself and center myself.

Here is my regimen:

1.

I light a sweet-smelling garden rain candle, and I set the timer for 5 minutes. In that span of time I try to let go of all thoughts that intrude in my head.  It’s amazing what I think about when I stop and listen to what I think. 

2. 

Next, for five minutes I do stream-of-consciousness writing. I write whatever thoughts come into my head. My chicken scrawl is only legible to me because I don’t want others to be able to read it or for me to incriminate myself!

3.

Last, but not least, I review what I’ve written. I look and see what my concerns, actions, accomplishments and fears are. I notice when I complain and when I congratulate myself for doing things I didn’t want to have to do. I notice the recurring themes.

Summary

I’ve only been doing this practice for a few days. So far the thing that I’ve discovered is that I really like living a low pressure, stress-free existence.

I’m raising my consciousness to appreciate my downtime. Although I think about the future, I also try and become more present. It’s not always easy when anticipating a yucky task or chore, but it’s nice to know that I’ve carved out a tiny little niche in which to meditate and reflect on what I think. 

However, I don’t think the goal of meditation is to think, but to empty your mind. 

I’m not quite there yet.

Keep Climbing No Matter What

Keep Climbing!

Every time we try to do something, there’s always a chance something might happen that we don’t like.
Similarly, in most climates, sometimes the sun shines and sometimes we get rain. If it’s only sunny all the time, you are living in a dry desert.

The same pattern holds true when it comes to your projects. 

There are some projects that are hard to do by yourself. Especially if it is something to do with special knowledge such as carpentry, mountain climbing or medicine.

Occasionally, other people are necessary for your progress. But other people are not perfect, unfortunately. They do make mistakes whether you like it or not.

In order not to freak out when things go awry, a certain attitude has to be adopted. Keep on track. Don’t get sidelined by trouble.

If the apple cart is upset, all you can do is pick up the apples and put them back on the cart. You don’t start flinging apples. It’s just a waste of energy!

Perfectionism is a stupid goal. It will the thwart your progress.

Perfectionism, not apples, needs to be thrown out the window, unless you desire a nervous breakdown.

I’m learning about the risk-reward ratio in life. Little improvements do add up over time.

You need to be patient with other people, but mainly you must be patient with yourself.

Every little progress also deserves a little reward. Persistence demands it.

Don’t forget to reward yourself when you find yourself doing what you know you should do.

Don’t freak out when things aren’t as perfect as you wish.

If you stay on the path towards progress, the desired outcome will be there waiting for you. No excuses, keep climbing until congratulations are in order!๐ŸŒน

Musically yours,

Amy Zents 

Alive and kicking

I just watched a really good show on HBO about heart disease.
Amazingly, in spite of all our good luck here in the USA with an overabundance of good food, good health care, access to clean water, and digital devices, obesity is killing people and that really is the heart of the matter.

Sadly, the people who are most prone to being obese are those who are economically challenged, namely the poor. Nevertheless, there are many folks who look like, heart attacks waiting to happen, among the upper crust as well.

We see this all around us and it is epidemic. The most horrible fact is that the problem is getting worse.

The question is, with all this cardiopulmonary disease sitting like a time-bomb ready to explode in these many obese bodies, is there anything to stem the tide?

Obviously, eating less and moving more to lose excess weight off the belly is a start.

Too bad it takes a tragedy for people to wake up to reality about obesity and heart disease.

You may come from an abundant country with lots of food tempting you every which way, but don’t let that be your excuse. If you want to live without regrets, then the time to act is now before it’s too late.

Follow the following three rules in addition to weight loss:

  1. Avoid alcohol
  2. Don’t smoke
  3. Don’t sit for longer than 50 minutes at a time.

Much of the heart disease today is preventable in America.

If you want to be successful and live a long life you have to take personal responsibility. You might be a lone voice in the wilderness of obesity, but after they’re gone you’ll still be here alive and kicking!

Inspiration found through Information

A little walk, a little sit, a little sip, can inspire a great idea!

Walking often yields my inspiration, but so does surfing online.

If you’re looking to be creative, walking certainly makes a difference. You don’t even have to walk very far, just four or five blocks will suffice. It’s an opportunity which affords the brain to formulate an idea.

Right now I’m enjoying my Teavana Earl Grey creme, and reflecting on recent thoughts.

I think we live in a society where we are often drained of our inspiration by people, politics, and events.

I look back on some of my blog posts and the things I’ve published. Sometimes I scratch my head and wonder what I was nattering on about. I must admit some of my earlier posts were pretty rough. Some of them even seemed nonsensical and scattered.

Nevertheless, some of of my WordPress posts were truly inspired. Especially those based on real-life experience. There are lessons to be learned every day.

From personal experience we can glean not only punishment but precious rewards.

Learning from personal experience is one of the the harshest ways to learn, but maybe that’s why the lesson sticks.

However, I do find inspiration and consolation in some of my previous blog posts, and the blog posts of others.

๐Ÿ˜€
Musically yours,

Amy Zents